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It wasn't the first computer I had, but it was the first PC I built from scratch. As I have said in the About Us page; I have been involved with computers all of my life, but I never really built my first PC. I have repaired them, replaced parts, taken them apart, cleaned them, but never had the time to build the whole enchilada. This was my chance to build the one that I wanted.

Several years ago, when I was trying to consolidate my five computers down to one that I could use; I started by salvaging all of the usable parts and seeing which computer case would satisfy my needs. I had four mini towers, and one mid tower which I decided to keep. The others I discarded. I had replaced power supplies a few times, so I decided to keep the newest one. With these two items I assembled the case and power supply. This was the start of my first PC.

As you can see I had many of the items that I needed to build a computer; but in order to achieve the performance I wanted, I had to purchase a few parts. I chose one of the online computer supply houses and made my purchase. I am not a gamer, nor was this going to be a server, so I chose mid-range components. I ordered a motherboard, a 1.6 G Hz CPU, and 1 Gig of memory.

Every day I looked on the Internet to see where the shipment was. I watched as it moved across the country. Finally the package arrived. I now could begin the rest of the building process.

I opened the motherboard package and inspected it very carefully for any damage, it looked good. After the inspection I installed the peripheral connection template and set any jumpers needed on the motherboard. The next thing was to install several M3 brass motherboard standoffs on which I would mount the motherboard with the screws provided. Then it was time to make the connections to the power supply and the case. Yes, I did read the manual, and I always use a grounding strap.

The CPU was then mounted in its socket and secured. Then the fan/heatsink was attached to the CPU using thermal past provided and secured to the motherboard. The fan was electrically connected to the motherboard.

The final thing for the motherboard was to insert the one Gig of RAM (memory) into the slot provided. A few years later I added the second Gig of RAM.

I took a hard drive that I had salvaged from my old computer and mounted in the 3 1/2 inch drive bay of this first PC. This drive had all of my software on it, so I didn't have to load any. I secured the drive with four #4-40 Phillips head screws. I set the master/slave jumper and connected the power supply cable. The final thing was to connect the EIDE cable between the hard drive and the motherboard.

Another salvaged item was a CD burner (reader and writer) which I also mounted in a 5 1/4 inch drive bay. The next thing was to make the electrical connections, power, data, and master/slave jumper. A few years later I replaced it with a combination CD and DVD burner.

For some inexplicable reason I decided to install a salvaged floppy disk drive, and make the proper electrical connections. To this day I have never used it.

After closing and securing the computer case; I attached the keyboard, the mouse, the monitor, the printer, and my DSL line. All of these were salvaged items. I was now ready to test the computer. This was building a computer from scratch.

I began to power up my first PC, watching the monitor to see if everything was progressing correctly. It was; the operating system started to boot up, showing each of the programs. Next, I ran tests on each of the peripherals to check performance. They also ran correctly; was I lucky. Every thing was working perfectly. Over the years I have upgraded the computer by adding a microphone, speakers, a webcam, and some additional software.

You to can use these tips for building a computer for yourself!!

Return from this page The first PC I ever built to Build a computer home page.


I've written about the first PC I ever built. It was fun and very satisfying. Now its your turn to tell of your story of computer building. The readers want to know how you felt and your experiences both humorous and otherwise when building your first computer. Be forthcoming, everyone screwed up with their first.

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